Carbon footprint goal

Countdown won the Resilience to Climate Change category at this year's (2016) Green Ribbon Awards for our work in increasing energy efficiency and reducing carbon emissions.

The Green Ribbon Awards, run by the Ministry for the Environment, recognise the outstanding contributions made by individuals, organisations, businesses and communities to protect and enhance New Zealand’s environment.

Countdown claimed the top gong in the Resilience to Climate Change category for our work in reducing carbon emissions. We have kept carbon emissions to 2006 levels despite a 37 per cent increase in selling space. It equates to a 26 per cent reduction in carbon emissions per square metre of shop space. The reductions were achieved through the introduction of energy efficient refrigeration systems, LED lighting as well as freezers that reduce cold air loss.

We achieved our goal: to hold Countdown carbon emissions to 2006 levels despite a 37% increase in selling space by 2015.

Current carbon emissions to be within only 1.8% above the baseline year of 2006, despite having grown our supermarket numbers from 152 in 2006 to 177 by July 2015. This equates to a 26% reduction in carbon emissions per square metre of our shop space in New Zealand from 2006 to 2015. 

Countdown carbon emissions remain at 2006 levels, despite a 37% increase in selling space by 2015.

During 2015, we have reduced our waste to landfill by a further 2%, despite five further stores opening in that time. Since 2006, the introduction of our Food Rescue Programme, where food still fit for consumption goes to food banks and food not fit for human consumption goes to farmers for livestock or composting, and the removal of non-recyclable materials from our supply chain, such as polystyrene fish bins, means our waste has reduced by 43%.

Moving to lower GWP (Global Warming Potential) refrigerant gases and reducing gas losses led to a 4% reduction in carbon emissions from refrigerant gases since 2006 despite significantly increased refrigeration from the 25 additional stores in our business. You can read more about our efforts to improve energy efficiency in our stores here.

In logistics, our trucking services are outsourced, and we work closely with our fleet partners to reduce fuel emissions, with the truck fleet fuel burn reducing by just under 4% in the past year. This has been achieved through better pallet organisation, increased trailer loads and more fuel efficient vehicles.